Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin demands the overhaul, reform and democratisation of the IMF and World Bank and the end of SAPs

29 June, 2005


Speaking in the Dáil during the debate on the private members motion in relation to world debt and the upcoming G8 meeting, Sinn Féin T.D. Arthur Morgan outlined Sinn Féin's view that debt cancellation needs to be accompanied by the ending of structural adjustment programmes and the thorough reform of the international financial institutions.

Deputy Morgan said:

"The debt burden on developing countries is a symptom of the disease that is at the core of the international financial institutions, namely the IMF and the World Bank. The role of these two antidemocratic bodies in world politics needs to be challenged.

"Sinn Féin demands the overhaul, reform and democratisation of the IMF and World Bank. These institutions and the interests they represent are responsible for the debt crisis. Every action they take is designed to benefit developed states at the expense of developing states. They were designed for this purpose and they are structured in a way which subjugates the interests of the developing countries to that of the powerful developed states and in particular the USA. They have played a huge role in the growth of inequality in the world.

"The voting rights within both these bodies are stacked in favour of the developed states and against the developing countries.

"Many of the developing states burdened by debt are within their rights under international law to refuse to pay these debts on the bases that the debt is 'odious' that is where a despotic power contracts a debt not according to the needs and interests of the State.. When the notion is successfully invoked, the state debt becomes the personal debt of those responsible during the dictatorship and cannot engage the financial resources of the state. This state should actively encourage such states to invoke the notion of odious debt where possible.

"Citizens of developing countries are disempowered as economic policy is decided by the IMF and the World Bank. This is done by way of the structural adjustment programmes which are imposed upon indebted countries and which have dramatically aggravated the problems facing those states. Their central aim is to impose upon developing countries economic policies approved by Washington.

"Structural adjustment programmes (SAP) force governments in developing countries to open up their state‚s economies - to export more and spend less. Developing country governments are forced to drastically reduce public spending, cutting social budgets such as education, health, housing and infrastructure, and ending subsidises on products or services of primary necessity. All of this has drastic consequences for local populations as living conditions in these countries have substantially deteriorated since the introduction of SAPs .

"Debt cancellation needs to be accompanied by the ending of structural adjustment programmes and the thorough reform of the international financial institutions." ENDS

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